A window is an opening in an otherwise solid, opaque surface through which light can pass. Windows come in all shapes and sizes and they all bring light into our lives.
Very early windows were shielded with hide or cloth stretched over the opening or wooden shutters. Later, three types of windows were invented that allowed light but not weather to pass into a building: mullioned glass windows, which joined multiple small pieces of glass with leading, paper windows, and windows made of plates of thinly sliced marble.

Mullioned glass windows were the windows of choice among European well-to-do, whereas paper windows were economical and widely used in ancient China and Japan. In England, glass became common in the windows of ordinary homes only in the early 17th century. Modern-style floor-to-ceiling windows became possible only after the industrial glass-making process was perfected.

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